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Recently my eldest daughter has been reading a series of books titled: ‘Daisy and the trouble with..’ In each book a girl named daisy tells a story of her life focusing on the ‘trouble with’ certain everyday aspect of life such as squeaky shoes and fluffy kittens. The title of today’s blog is my own version of this and contains so many elements I probably could write a whole book but instead I will just do a short summary of where I am at with this word ‘love’.

The trouble with love is… it’s become a four letter word.
I understand that the word love in our English language has always been physically a four lettered word but what I mean by this is it has almost become an empty word; with abbreviations of the word entering phrases such as ‘luv ya’ has made the word love become a flipant comment that we can pass along to anyone with ease and not much true feeling in at all. Or it can become a word we use out of habit; for example at times in the morning when my husband leaves for work he always makes sure he says I love you to me as he leaves; at the same time I am often brushing my teeth whilst packing the children’s bags and trying to think of anything I may have forgotten about the day ahead; in autopilot I respond ‘I love you too’. Whilst I was saying it i had no loving thoughts in my head or feeling of love in my heart for my husband at that current moment it was just an automatic response; a rooted habit. It’s not that I don’t mean it but at the same time its me saying from my head not my heart. There is something powerful when someone says ‘I love you’ from the heart; it sends a tingle inside, it’s not just a word at that moment but something that makes you come alive. We have to be careful that the word love is not over used so that it becomes just a four letter word but instead remains the life giving word that it truly is.

Another trouble with love is…it can’t just be said.
Sometimes we think that simply saying ‘I love you’ to someone is enough for them to know that they are loved but the trouble with that is it can so easily become that ‘four lettered word’ mentioned above; it (t times) can be easy to say but much harder to demonstrate it through action. Demonstration requires more than just lip service it requires us to stop and think outside of our own little bubble; it requires us at times to get up and do things that really we would rather not do. Life as a mother has been a great way of demonstrating to me what it means to truly love because I can not simply tell my children I love them and then not care for their needs at the same time – there’s got to be evidence to back up my statement of love for them. Of course it’s important to be said; it’s vital that we state our love for our loved ones both to them and to others but that statement alone can not stand firm without some kind of supporting action.

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The trouble with love is… it’s unconditional.
You CANNOT have love that is conditional; it just doesn’t exist if you have ever been in a relationship with anyone where there were conditions set out for you to receive their love, then, well it was a false love. My eldest daughter the other day responded to my statement of ‘ I love you’ with ‘yeah except when we’ve hurt you’ and I turned round and said ‘ No, even when you hurt me I still love you, you may make me feel sad but that won’t stop me loving you.’ My biggest fear is that my children are being raised in a society where love has become conditional. The classic childhood phrase of ‘I’ll be your best friend if….’ has seeped into many of our relationships. ‘I’ll stay married to you if… life doesn’t get boring’ or ‘ I’ll live with you if…you get rid of that hideous sofa!’ or ‘I can’t go out to the cinema with you wearing THAT!’  We are setting conditions on something that should have no bounds, no limits. If we truly love then we must be able to accept people with their boring bits; their hideous furniture; poor dress sense and even that they may hurt us from time to time.

The biggest trouble with love is… we’ve forgotten about the original source.
Quite often we seem to think this endless supply of love comes from nowhere and that it’s just inside of us and we can just keep giving it out from our own supply but actually there is a source of love that we must tap into to really begin loving in the way we have been created to love. That source is the one true God. He is the only one who is truly limitless in love he is our natural spring of love that will never run dry! Have you ever had a time in your life where it was really hard to love ANYONE where every person you came in contact seemed to just irritate you or bug you in some way? It was probably at that point that your love was running off fumes; you were dry and needed topping up from the natural spring of love. Sometimes God gives us gifts of this love by placing super special people into our lives – maybe children, a partner, a new friend or even a relative you haven’t spoken to in a while. Other times it requires something deeper – an actual encounter with God to really refresh your love for others (and yourself). At times I play games on my phone that give me a certain number of ‘lives’ often represented as hearts; once I have lost all my lives I am unable to play anymore and I have to wait for my ‘lives’ to refresh before I can start playing again. I also have the option to stop playing the game part way through to let my ‘lives’ refresh over time. This is how it is for our lives and love for others – we can’t continue loving on full capacity there is going to be moments in life where things happen and we lose a little bit of love; maybe someone has hurt us or rejected our blessing or simply taken us for advantage the important thing is to allow ourselves time to refresh our love and the best place to go to for that is the original source! 
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. Corinthians 13:4-8
The above bible passage tells you exactly what love is and combined with this verse:
8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. John 4:8
it tells you exactly who God is.. He IS love!! So if you ever find yourself saying; I don’t know how to love anymore; or where to find love in this world start with the source and look out for his character in the world around you because you will find it!

Are you drawing love from the original source??